A clean environment can help to reduce the spread of infection.

There are many areas in the home care settings that become easily contaminated with microorganisms (germs/bugs), e.g., toilets, waste bins, kitchen surfaces. Furniture and floorings in a poor state of repair can harbour microorganisms in hidden cracks or crevices.

To minimise the spread of infection, the environment must be kept as clean and dry and, where possible, clear from litter or non-essential items and equipment. We understand that care homes are people’s homes and that personal items which are important to the person should not be seen as non-essential.

Use of a general-purpose neutral detergent and hand-hot water is usually enough to make sure the environment is clean and safe. A fresh solution should be made up for each cleaning task (always check manufacturer’s instructions regarding amount to use), and should be changed when dirty or at 15 minute intervals.

It may be useful to have a regular routine/schedule for cleaning tasks/areas required on a daily or weekly basis. Ensure the cleaning equipment you use is fit for purpose and is not a potential source of infection itself.

If you are concerned that the environment may be causing a potential risk of infection, you may wish to discuss this with the person you care for and/or their family. You should also report this to your line manager/ supervisor.

Further information can be found in the Safe Management of the Care Environment Cleaning Specification for Older People and Adult Care Homes.



  • Where possible maintain an environment which is visibly clean, free from non-essential items and equipment to help make cleaning easier and to help prevent infection.
  • The use of freshly-made general purpose neutral detergent solutions for each task is usually enough to keep it clean.
  • Do not use antiseptics or hand hygiene products for environmental cleaning.
  • Perform hand hygiene after environmental cleaning tasks.